Deborah Cichon has been asking her son Gregory for years to play on her Adult League Mixed Doubles team. But the 28-year-old accountant was always too busy with work.
So you can imagine her reaction when she was finally able to convince him this year to join her 9.0 Nassau Indoor Tennis team on Long Island.
"Having your son play on your team is very exciting," said Cichon, whose team is among 30 competing this weekend at the USTA Eastern Adult League Mixed Doubles Championships, June 1-3, in New York’s Capital Region. "It’s a nice closeness - talking about the match before we play, and then again afterwards."
Finding a Partner
Getting Gregory to play, though, was only the first challenge. Deborah also had to find her son, who is a 4.0 player, a mixed doubles partner with a 5.0 rating.
Deborah asked her teammates, and Janine Sadaka thought of her sister Lauren, who hadn’t played in years.
Now, six months later, the two sisters have become an important part of the team.
"Lauren and Janine have made such a positive impact on our team," said Cichon. "They are always upbeat and you can easily see that they are supportive of each other. Their parents even come to watch their "adult" children play. It is so nice to see."
Of course, it’s not just the strong players that make it on court; everyone on the team competes, win or lose, said Cichon.
That includes the captain who had her hip replaced only 11 months ago. When the season started in January, she was still in physical therapy, trying to strengthen her muscles and hip area.
But this weekend, she is excited to be competing once again.
"I waited towards the end of the season to put myself in matches, so if we won, I would qualify to play up at sectionals," said Cichon. "I am happy to say that I am planning to play a match or two at sectionals."
Check out how Cichon’s team does this weekend right here.